EDITORIAL: The excitement of springtime

Achievements, weather improving, new website — what’s not to like about the change in seasons here?

Spring is a time of renewal and that can come in many forms.

Our friend Sol has been brightening and warming our recent days after what seemed too long of an absence. The plants and trees are reacting, coming to life once again, or showing signs of increased excitement.

The halibut season is underway and early reports suggest good returns, even if the Orcas are “flossing” some fish off the lines as they come into the boats.

We are fortunate to live in such a place as the North Island. Those of us who are not indigenous to this land are also fortunate to have welcoming and forgiving First Nations people who are willing to share the splendour.

There are signs of renewal and excitement all around us. The new Kwa’Lilas Hotel in Port Hardy is open for business and is a great addition to the region’s ability to attract tourism dollars and create employment.

Last week, a number of students celebrated graduation from North Island College programs in tourism and aquaculture with a fantastic ceremony at Kwa’Lilas.

This week, Fort Rupert Elementary students participated in their annual salmon release at Wawis Creek. There’s hardly a better spring renewal metaphor than that one.

Other successes by local people add to the excitement, re-birth and renewal of this season. For example, the North Island will, for the first time, be home to an athlete who has qualified to compete in the Special Olympics Provincial Summer Games. Congratulations to Markus Geisler and to all who have helped him get to this level.

We ask you to forgive the following foray into navel-gazing, but the feeling of excitement and renewal for us here at The Gazette is palpable.

Our website, www.northislandgazette.com, has been re-launched. It’s no longer behind a paywall, which is a fancy way to say it’s free. What’s more, we have renewed our commitment to loading the site every day, often every hour, with new stories and photos about the people and issues of the North Island. We are no longer just a weekly newspaper.

Our parent company Black Press continues to make serious investments in our newspapers and people and websites. We are now better positioned to utilize all the resources that come with being the largest owner of newspapers in B.C., especially all the talent in our newsrooms.

Our printed product will continue to arrive on your doorsteps, post office boxes and stores. For many of us, there is a certain comfort and familiarity that comes with holding a newspaper in hand. To that end, we have made improvements to the content and look of the Gazette’s printed product.

To quote Alistair Taylor, the editor of our sister paper, the Campbell River Mirror: “There are still many people loyal to the tangible act of holding a newspaper in their hands. And they won’t be left behind.”

Thing is, there’s no need to wait days for your local news. Not in this world of technology. You may be used to getting national and internationals news, sports and entertainment on all your devices. Our new website provides all that, but adds the local flavour too.

It’s an exciting time for us at The Gazette and, we believe, for our readers and advertisers. As always, we welcome your feedback about all of our products and we ask that you check out our new website.

— Editorial by John Harding